In this week’s article I wanted to address 4 things for Superintendents to consider when adding new technology to their operations. When writing about different topics, I try to find connections between different industries and see how those can fit in the world I live in—in this case, Golf. I found the inspiration for this article in an unlikely place—a childhood rival.
Part of what makes the emotional rollercoaster of sports so gripping is the apparent necessity for an arch-rival. Whether you are more into college sports or professional sports, we all have our rivals. For me growing up, there was no one more havocking and seemingly destructive to my soul than Peyton Manning (as I’m sure Tom Brady was for Colts fans). As a fan, you can’t help but marvel at the career Peyton Manning ultimately strung together—setting records and winning two Super Bowls with two separate teams (albeit his defense was loaded in Denver, but I digress…).
I recently stumbled upon some old highlight reels of Peyton which led me to another video of Peyton Manning breaking down film on Baker Mayfield and Patrick Mahomes’ decision making. Peyton has always stressed preparation in comments to the media and interviews. I didn’t have to dig very far to see that Peyton has actually done work with businesses and organizations on preparation and the ability to execute efficiently. He was speaking at the PSCU’s Member Forum and was drawing comparisons between his work as athlete and the challenges faced by many of us who run teams in business. The first quote I read that I connected with was:
“I never left a field feeling I could have done more to prepare myself, regardless of the outcome. The teams I was on, our best players were our best practicers. Preparation was where I always thought I could get an edge. I couldn’t out throw anybody, I certainly couldn’t outrun anybody, but I could out-prepare others. Ask yourself, what are you willing to do to be a better leader, better organization?”
The other quote by Peyton that I was drawn to was one that is central to the nature of evolving industries like Golf. His thought on technology is that is an “integral part of growth”. Peyton stated:
“Technology is changing how the game is played…Players have chips in their shoulder pads that tell a coach how much a player is running in practice. There are smart helmets now that tell medical staff if a player has had a severe hit. You know what the game-changers are in your business; one way or another disruption changes the way organizations think.”
Why does all this matter to Superintendents or Golf for that matter? Discussing Peyton Manning, talking about rivals, looking at the intersection of transferable principles between sports and running an operation? It matters for a several reasons. 1.) Peyton’s proof is his “pudding” – that is to say he knows a thing or two about adapting and sustaining great work. 2.) I look to Peyton because of how much I disliked him, and in fact, there’s much to be learned by opening your life’s scope to include those you might not “like”…there may be some admiration worth exploring. 3.) His principles are transferrable.
Connecting to the theme of preparation, I wanted to share my top 5 points for Superintendents to consider when adding a new technology to their maintenance operations.
Define a full scope of work and develop a roadmap for the project
- Get clear on what it is you want to achieve. Whether it’s adding a new irrigation system, reducing expenditures, investing in an equipment monitoring system like FAIRWAYiQ, or finding more time in the day to do more work – it pays long term dividends to be very clear as to the goal you need to achieve.
Data collection – be sure to make sense of it
- Data collection itself will be of little help if you cannot make sense of it. Thus, you need to be sure that the information being reported will have actionable impact on your operation. Data analytics should be at the core of every smart maintenance solution.
- You’re likely a Superintendent that is out on the property doing tasks with your team. Whatever technology you bring on board, it should be tailored for use out in the field. Moreover, as a result of large amount of field work done by Superintendents, finding technologies that require little-to-no data entry is critical to efficiency.
Learn to adapt as a personal tool for growth
- As is the case when embarking on any new endeavors, there will be bumps along the way. Add new technology is no different and it takes a bit of time to dial things in so they fit your operation. As Peyton mentioned in his Q & A when speaking about being resilient, “My wife, Ashley, gave me some advice. She said, ‘Just learn to use your mind in a different way.’ To win, sometimes you have to be willing to abandon old routines.”